US and Papua New Guinea sign Defence pact
The United States (US) and Papua New Guinea, a Country in Oceania, have signed a new bilateral defence cooperation agreement to make it easier for the defence forces of the two nations to train together.
Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State, visited Papua New Guinea (PNG) on Monday. Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister James Marape held a meeting with Blinken. The meeting took place in Port Moresby, the Capital of Papua New Guinea.
During the meeting, Marape and Blinken signed the defence pact and a maritime security agreement. Reportedly, the pact can help the US to access military and other facilities in Papua New Guinea.
Blinken reportedly said, “The defence cooperation was drafted by the United States and Papua New Guinea as equals and sovereign partners.” He also met with other senior leaders.
Blinken said that the US wanted to boost cooperation with Papua New Guinea (PNG). Marape and Blinken discussed economic development in the two countries, the climate crisis, and various other topics of mutual concern. Blinken said that the agreement “will be fully transparent.”
The US Secretary of State also said that the current US President Joe Biden was unable to attend the ceremony. He revealed that Biden cancelled his travel to Papua New Guinea due to debt ceiling negotiations in Washington.
According to Marape, the defence pact would help to increase US military presence in the PNG over the next decade. The US would also provide $45 million in new funds to PNG in order to boost security cooperation.
The US State Department said that the new funds would help PNG to tackle transnational crime and HIV/AIDS.
On Saturday, PNG said in a statement, “Papua New Guinea does not have enemies but it pays to be prepared. The agreement recognizes the country’s need to build its defence capabilities.”